It took a while for Mazda to revamp its most spacious sport utility vehicle, the CX-9. After unveiling the second-generation 2016 Mazda CX-9 at the Los Angeles International Auto Show last November, Mazda offered various media an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the CX-9 last month, once again in Southern California.

More refined and fuel-efficient than the generation it replaces, the 2016 Mazda CX-9 now boasts more versions including the very well-equipped and luxurious Signature model complete with rosewood trim. Thanks to a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 227 horsepower and class-leading 330 lb-ft of torque that offers an exclusive turbo pressure variation system, the CX-9 offers both plenty of power and the best fuel economy rating in its class.

Here’s what the automotive press had to say about the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-9, Mazda’s latest and greatest three-row sport utility vehicle:

There may be no replacement for displacement, but Mazda is giving it a go anyway, dumping the 270-horsepower, 3.7-litre V6 that was found in the previous CX-9 for a smaller 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that substitutes greater torque (310 lb.-ft. versus 270 lb.-ft.) for power (250 hp on 93 octane, 227 hp on regular). While Mazda readily admits that, traditionally, turbocharged engines have suffered from poor dynamic performance at low rpm, including turbo lag, and disappointing real-world fuel economy, the 2.5T engine overcomes these problems with what the company calls the Dynamic Pressure Turbo, purportedly the world’s first turbocharging system that can vary the degree of exhaust pulsation depending on engine speed, as well as a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system that allows the engine to maintain the ideal air-fuel ratio over a wider output range –

There are many handy compartments to store cell phones, sun glasses, magazines and change. Cup holders in the front and rear are useful. And, after a workout, you can store big bottles of water in the front and rear doors.

The CX-9 is a smart package with enough space for seven along with the driving characteristics of Mazda’s zoom-zoom trademark. Hopefully, it’ll retain those features if SkyActiv gets added to this ride down the line – Globe and Mail

Incorporating zoom-zoom charisma into a three-row crossover is no easy feat, but Mazda’s engineers pull it off with the CX-9. A well-tuned suspension provides admirable handling, and the steering is light but precise. A 250-hp 2.5-liter turbo four mates with a six-speed automatic and either front- or all-wheel drive. The EPA estimates 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for front-drive models; adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking are standard on Grand Touring and Signature trims – Car and Driver

The all-new 2016 Mazda CX-9 is attractive inside and out, but it’s more than just a pretty face. It’s a pleasure to drive and will satisfy all of your growing family’s requirements thanks to its generous size and numerous features. It’s one of our top-ranked three-row SUVs. –

It’s hard not to like the 2016 Mazda CX-9. It’s better than the outgoing model in virtually every respect. – Automobile Magazine

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